November 24, 2008


Yesterday, I received a packet from Aunt Bird in the mail. She and my other aunts cleaned out my Grandmother's house this past summer and pulled from the piles of paper the letters and items that might be of interest to me.

There was a letter my Mom wrote to Grandma when I was 1 1/2 years old. She talked about how I already liked to 'read'. She'd read me from one book while I held another and turned the pages. (Hmm...think I might have been wired for independence?) In that same letter, she mentions "Uncle Sonny" and how she knows that if anything happens to my Dad, he'd protect and defend her. Uncle Sonny is a whole 'nother post, but of all the people she mentions, he was the one who was around the most for my growing up years. Aunt Bird warned about Uncle Sonny planning on toughening me for the streets; Sonny thought my Mom and all her farm-bred sisters were too soft and he had plans for me to be ready for the world. He did it, too!

Mom had also written out a account of my birth. Apparently nothing correlated to the Natural Childbirth book she'd read and she wanted to note all of that. I'm still in awe of my Mom. In 1971, when women were usually drugged for birth and encouraged to bottle-feed, she wanted my Dad in the room, wanted natural childbirth, and was determined to breast-feed. I guess she was in so much pain (backache labor) that she opted for drugs toward the end of labor. They gave her Demoral which meant she was really relaxed between contractions, but didn't really stop the pain of the contractions. It also meant that she felt like my birth was a bit of a dream state. Unlike today when they encourage women to breast-feed within two hours, it sounds like she didn't feed me until the next day?

I have a bunch of friends who have told me how hard breast-feeding is. One of them, right now, has a baby that cannot seem to learn to latch correctly. Apparently, neither me nor my Mom had any problems. It's a relief since it gives me hope that if that's ever relevant, that may be true for me as well.

Obviously, there are tons of questions I'd love to be able to ask my Mom, it was fun to get some of them answered 'beyond the grave'. Chatting with my aunts on the phone the other night was another reminder that I have a bunch of great resources for advice.

I love my family!


OTR sister said...

The only way Dad could be in the room was if it was natural childbirth, so once she decided she needed the pain meds, Dad was forced to leave the room.

What a horrible choice to have to make! We really have come a long way in our short lifetime.

jooliyah said...

wow, what great treasures!

and how they handled things back then is making things difficult between mothers and daughters now. my mom's generation can't understand why formula isn't just as good, if not better than breastmilk and all of that. what were they thinking? hopefully it won't swing that way again for the next generation.

Aimee said...

Wow, what a cool gift. That's awesome. I'm happy for you that you're able to get a glimspe into your mom's thinking and feelings.

My mom was handed a -brochure- on breastfeeding when I was born. That was it. The women of that time usually chose bottle feeding, as she did. Turns out, I couldn't tolerate any formula on the market and they ended up using cow's milk and put vitamins in it.

Breastfeeding would've probably solved all those problems, ya know?

Also, if it's ever relevent for you, Kangaroo Care/Kare is awesome! I have lots of books if you ever need them. :-)

Asianmommy said...

What a nice story.

Mama Nabi said...

That is so cool. Beyond cool. I am in awe.

Lil Sis said...

OOOHH, I love getting packages, but this one sounds just amazing, letters from your Mom about YOU! Just WOW! How cool is that, makes me want to start writing letters to people about my kids so one day they'll get them back...oh, right, that's what the bloggy is for:)

Happy Thanksgiving,

lots of love,